Easter field weekend

FRIDAY:

Rather than an in depth field report, I thought I would just post the photos from the Easter weekend, as hopefully, the photos will speak for themselves and save me the job of inventing an interesting report 😉 On Friday daytime we went onto the moors and saw some mating Adders (Vipera berus) followed by a nice male specimen and some Common lizards (Zootoca vivipara), including a first melanistic specimen. Myself and Carl are grateful to Alan Mosley who kindly allowed us to explore his property on Friday evening in search of Common midwife toads (Alytes obstretricans) as his village is one of three introduced populations in the UK. The little toads were calling like mad, and under some flag stones we could see many adults, including some carrying eggs but we were only able to reach two specimens for photos.

Adder (Vipera berus) (C) Matt Wilson

Mating adders (Vipera berus) (C) Matt Wilson

Melanistic Common lizard (Zootoca vivipara) (C) Matt Wilson

Female Common lizard (Zootoca vivipara) (C) Matt Wilson

Female Common lizard (Zootoca vivipara) (C) Matt Wilson

Common midwife toads (Alytes obstretricans) (C) Matt Wilson

Common midwife toads (Alytes obstretricans) (C) Matt Wilson

Common midwife toads (Alytes obstretricans) (C) Matt Wilson

SATURDAY

We drove to East Yorkshire trying to find a spot for Marsh frogs (Pelophylax ridibundus) which didn’t really work out. Instead Carl threw himself into a muddy river and caught a beauty of a Grass snake (Natrix natrix), the largest I’ve ever seen in the UK. We also saw another one a little further down the river, but neither of us were eager to get waist deep in muddy water to retrieve it, as it was almost identical to the one Carl had just caught. In the evening we drove across to the west coast where we explored some sand dunes after dark and saw many breeding Natterjack toads (Bufo calamita), together with Great crested newt (Triturus cristatus) and Smooth newt (Lissotriton vulgaris).

Grass snake (Natrix natrix) (C) Matt Wilson

Grass snake (Natrix natrix) (C) Matt Wilson

Grass snake (Natrix natrix) (C) Matt Wilson

Grass snake (Natrix natrix) (C) Matt Wilson

Natterjack toad (Bufo calamita) (C) Matt Wilson

Natterjack toad (Bufo calamita) (C) Matt Wilson

Natterjack toad (Bufo calamita) (C) Matt Wilson

Natterjack toad (Bufo calamita) (C) Matt Wilson

Amplexus of Natterjack toad (Bufo calamita) (C) Matt Wilson

SUNDAY

Early in the morning we drove back to the coast and met up with Dave Hardaker and Liam Russell, who are both studying populations of Sand lizards (Lacerta agilis). Before it got too hot we searched around some coastal dunes and saw two juvenile and four adult male sand lizards. What little beauties they are!

Sand lizard (Lacerta agilis) (C) Matt Wilson

Sand lizard (Lacerta agilis) (C) Matt Wilson

Sand lizard (Lacerta agilis) (C) Matt Wilson

Sand lizard (Lacerta agilis) (C) Matt Wilson

Sand lizard (Lacerta agilis) (C) Matt Wilson

Sand lizard (Lacerta agilis) (C) Matt Wilson

Species observed:

  • Common midwife toad (Alytes obstretricans) Around 10 seen, two photographed
  • Common frog (Rana temporaria) Common
  • Common toad (Bufo bufo) Common
  • Natterjack toad (Bufo calamita) About 15
  • Great crested newt (Triturus cristatus) 3 seen
  • Smooth newt (Lissotriton vulgaris) 2 seen
  • Common lizard (Zootoca vivipara) Seen at most sites
  • Sand lizard (Lacerta agilis) 4 adults, 2 juveniles
  • Grass snake (Natrix natrix) 1 juvenile, two adults
  • Adder (Vipera berus) 3 seen
By Matt Wilson

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